book review, Genres, Young Adult SFF

Book Review | Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3.5/5 Stars – Decent

Genre: YA fantasy
Pub. Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Page count: 453 (Hardcover)


All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything.

Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined. 

Warnings: n/a

Review Spoiler Level – mild (some names and themes mentioned; no main plot points spoiled)

What I Liked

🥀 Silas. I. Freaking. Love. Silas. He made this book for me, honestly. He drove my emotions forward, he kept me interested when nothing else did, and his decisions broke my heart in all the best ways. I don’t necessarily want a sequel to this book but I want a sequel about Silas. I need to know more about him.

🥀 Elisabeth and Nathaniel’s relationship. Our MCs hit it off quite well, starting as enemies (as far as Elisabeth was concerned, anyway) before transforming into co-conspirators fairly quickly. Nathaniel’s sass and humor were a nice counter to Elisabeth’s more serious tone. While certainly not my favorite couple of all time, I thought they made a solid pair and the relationship made sense to me in the context of the story.

“What is the point of life if you don’t believe in anything?”

p. 79

What I DISLiked

🥀 Predictable. The plot, the character reactions, the villain, the ‘mystery…’ Everything about this book was predictable, and instead of being comforting like I usually do, I found it tedious and boring.

🥀 The writing style–so many analogies! Something about Rogerson’s writing in this book grated on me. She used an excess of analogies. Like, yes okay we get it, eyes like rubies and voice like a foghorn. Cool. Please stop.

🥀 Elisabeth’s inner voice. Our MC tended to… fixate. I think it was more due to the writer trying to remind us of what Rogerson deemed important, but she did it too often. As in, nearly every scene, too often. I would have liked to see Elisabeth’s thoughts become more developed and absorb the new world around her rather than fixating on the few things she thought about, such as demonic servants and the villain’s plottings.

Tropes I Noticed

🥀 Enemies to lovers romance
🥀 Dark academia (briefly)
🥀 Steampunk (sort of?)
🥀 Demons


This book was decent. Average. I’m not mad I spent time reading it, but it was nothing special. It got much better in the second half, I will admit, and Silas definitely made this book worth reading.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fantasy, dark libraries, and easy-to-follow plotlines. I think it’s worth reading as a palette-cleanser if you can get your hands on it via your local library or something.

“Perhaps I haven’t seen what you can do, but I’ve seen what you choose to do. Isn’t that more important?”

p. 262

Have you read or plan to read Sorcery of Thorns? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading!

5 thoughts on “Book Review | Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson”

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